The London Paralympics 2012 started a few days ago. One of the stars on the paralympic team from US is an extraordinary young woman that was adopted from Russia when she was a little girl. Her name is Tatyana McFadden. She is just super!
Tatyana’s story is an inspiration to me. She was born with an underdeveloped spinal cord which made her paralyzed below the waist. That scared her parents, and they gave her up. Tatyana grew up in a very poor orphanage outside of St. Petersburg, where the kids did not even have colored crayons, let alone a wheelchair for the girl. But Tatyana was a fighter, and she learned to walk using her hands.
Then at the age of six she was adopted by a remarkable woman from America. She brought Tatyana home with her only to hear from the doctors there that the girl would probably live only a few more years and not reach adulthood because of her poor health. Well, together they proved them wrong! Today Tatyana is a beautiful woman, a full time student, and an accomplished athlete.
I can’t help but wonder how Tatyana’s life would have panned out if she had stayed in the orphanage. The sad but unfortunately true fact about Russian orphans is a great majority of them don’t have happy lives. So thank you to all of you adoptive parents for opening up your hearts to our kids, loving them no matter what, and helping them discover their future that might not otherwise happen.